Christmas Tree alternatives

Christmas Tree Concepts that will Floor You!

Well, there is no denying it, The Christmas countdown is certainly on, with less than 4 weeks to go.

Our home probably looks like many others at this stage. I have located most of my Christmas gear in boxes from the garage, but there is something inside me that prevents me decorating until December 1st. And let’s face it, there is a list a mile long of things to organise at this time of year: cards to post, letters to Santa to write, shopping lists to write, menus to plan, gifts to buy, and wrap!

To make things a little easier for you Florist with Flowers has a gorgeous range of fresh flower gifts, plants and hampers on offer this year. If you are yet to check gifts off your list perhaps for someone who is a little hard-to-buy for, check out our Christmas range here.

Last week’s blog featured some creative Christmas trees ideal for smaller spaces, and little hands, but this week we are sharing with you some inspirational floor standing trees.  Again, these are not your traditional Christmas tree, so they may suit some homes and family personalities more than others. What I like most is how creative people are. I love how people reuse, recycle, and upcycle. I love how the focus is on repurposing, and rethinking materials that you already have. And lastly, I love how these options rarely use plastic components, so they make our planet happy too.

Cardboard Box Tree

I’ve turned cardboard boxes into cubby house and trains in my time, but so far, I haven’t made them into a Christmas tree. For young families, this floor standing Christmas tree can be bright and festive, AND manages to avoid the irresistible tendrils of tinsel and the inevitably bouncing baubles too! It is a great Christmas activity to enjoy together; firstly designing the trees decorations and then carefully painting it all. You can find step by step instructions here.

Cardboard Christmas Tree
Source: Makedo Cardboard Christmas Tree

Brown Paper Christmas Tree

I personally like the tone of brown paper and/or cardboard, so I would probably opt just to paint simple decorations on the cardboard tree and leave the base natural. This brown Paper Christmas Tree is another alternative, and again, the decoration can be as simple or as tizzy as you like. Interested in recreating this look by Craft a la Mode, click here for a full tutorial.

Brown Paper Christmas Tree. Christmas Tree alternatives
Source: Crafts a la Mode

Teepee Tree

I love the idea of creating a simple teepee with bamboo poles, or another appropriate stick. For an Australiana theme to Christmas, decorate the tree with garlands made from pretty eucalyptus leaves, which have a gorgeous scent and will dry nicely in the heat of our summer. This option can be decorated with traditional tinsel and lights too of course, but I think that half the appeal is in its simplicity. Less is more!

Christmas Tree alternatives. Teepee tree

Ladder Christmas Tree

Everyone has an old wooden ladder hanging around right? So what about using it as a centrepiece for Christmas one year? This particular look would fit right into a converted warehouse space, or a home with a rustic or industrial feel. While researching for this piece I found many unique versions of the ladder tree: some with a bazillion balls suspended underneath, some with planks of wood placed across each rung, to create shelving, but this one, with the large hanging paper decorations is by far, my favourite.

Ladder Christmas tree. Christmas Tree alternatives

Whilst the Christmas countdown has begun, there is still plenty of time to organise gifts and decorations. Browse our gift ideas online, or give us a call in store if we can help design something special this year.

Fwf x

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Christmas ideas for something a bit different

Flat Christmas Tree Displays When Ordinary Won’t Do

I don’t know about you, but at my particular stage of life, a traditional Christmas tree just doesn’t work. Last year I optimistically took a picture of my two eldest, proudly sitting in front of our hanging wooden slat tree, which they had just finished decorating. The caption below excitedly announced “Our last Christmas with a non-traditional Christmas tree”. What a laugh. 🎄🎄🎄

Firstly, I think I had forgotten what a two year old was like….add to that the fact that I grossly underestimated the difference between girls and boys. So it seems I have just a little over a week to decide what my alternative to a Christmas tree is going to look like this year. Can you believe that December is almost here? It’s crazy to think that the festive season is really upon us, and if you are looking at getting organised already, you can check out our Christmas range now 🎄 🎄🎄

There are a bazillion ideas out there for people looking for something a little different. The result will largely depend on whether you want to use things you already have lying around at home, or whether you are happy to buy some supplies.

Wall hanging trees are fabulously out of the reach for little hands, and are also a great alternative for you if you haven’t a lot of space. Ready to buy flat felt Christmas trees are available at several retailers,  however I like how unique and creative these alternatives are.

🎄Honeycomb Christmas Tree🎄

This version of the honeycomb tree is very bright and festive in a non traditional way, however you can imagine how fabulous it would look in traditional red, white and green, or any colour theme really! The honeycombs can be picked up from Kmart, and most dollar shops inexpensively, and can be adhered with blu-tac.

Honeycomb Christmas Tree
Source: Studio DIY

🎄String Light/Tinsel Christmas Tree🎄

Whether you choose to use just string lights, string lights and decorations or add tinsel as well, this concept is incredibly simple and easy to erect. You will need removeable hooks ( preferably the 3M ones) which you can easily take off the walls without damage. And my biggest tip? Adhere the hooks facing outwards so it is easier to wind the string through them firmly.

String light and tinsel wall tree
Source: Home Decoration Articles

🎄String Christmas Tree🎄

I looooove this one. How effective does it look!!?? And, by using a couple of different coloured strings you could make it even more festive. You could also tie in the colour theme you are using for your decorations or you could peg your cards to the string instead. If you like the idea, a full tutorial is available at My Poppet.

Source: My Poppet

🎄Memory/Milestone Christmas Collage🎄

Choosing one of these Christmas Tree alternatives is often due to having small children, and this tree is a wonderful way to appreciate the passage of time, and all the big moments that have passed during the year. These days we so often rely on the digital copies, but seeing it all before your eyes is a beautiful way to share these moments with friends and family who may have missed many of them.

This would also be a fabulous way to showcase some of your favourite moments after returning from an overseas adventure and also a lovely way to display moments captured in time with loved ones who may have passed.

Photo wall Christmas tree
Source: Printiki

Photo Frame Upcycle Tree

I love this one because I’m sure I’m not the only person In the world who retires photo frames to a dusty old drawer. Give them a coat of paint, and a new lease on life. Voila! Putting pictures in them is absolutely not necessary, but if you chose to, it could be done of course. Alternatively fill them with festive sayings.

Frame Christmas tree, an alternative to the traditional
Source: Organised Clutter

Half the fun of the festive season is the decorating so next week I’ll share with you some fabulous floor standing alternatives to your traditional Christmas tree. They will also give you the opportunity to personalise and customise your displays to suit your home and decor. 🎄🎄🎄

Fwf x

 

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Craig Scott from Eastcoast Wildflowers

Drive You Wild Flowers

A familiar face from the Sydney Flower Markets, Craig Scott of East Coast Wildflowers was featured on last week’s episode of Gardening Australia. A fourth generation flower grower, Scott’s passion is evident in the way he talks about his work and his love of Australian Flora.

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If you missed it, and are interested in watching the segment, you’ll find it here.

Craig’s great grandfather, William “Robbo” Robinson, the first in the family to start in the flower trade, sold flowers via a mixed business between the train station and Woronora cemetery.

His grandfather grew a range of traditional flowers on his farm in the Southern Sydney suburb of Menai, and sold a selection of ‘bush-picked’ native blooms long before the restrictions on picking natives were in place.

Craig’s father Col was instrumental in developing Scott’s love of Australian native flowers. As well as growing some traditional blooms, Col began selling native flowers in the market and in 1968 he bought a 50 acre farm at Mangrove Mountain where the business still exists today. Craig and his father shared a love of the outdoors. Col was a rock climber and Craig, an interested hiker. They would often spot interesting flora on their adventures and this fuelled their inspiration.

Approximately half of the farm is native bushland, while the other half is cleared with several glasshouses set up. They grow a range of native flowers including waratah, billy buttons, mulla mulla, grevillea, wattle, eucalyptus, paper daisies and a large kangaroo paw range which is a key line in their business.

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Eastcoast Wildflowers Farm. Source: Try booking

Craig is one of those growers that has built a great business based on a combination passion and hard work. For years he has offered florists a wonderful range of Australian flowers; flowers that get florists excited to create. Australian Native Flora is stunningly unique in appearance; they have gorgeous colour variations and a particularly interesting texture.

When people talk about natives, often an image of a dull coloured arrangement comes to mind, but that simply is not the case. Native flowers can be incredibly bright. Telopea, for example is derived from the Greek word ‘telopos’, meaning ‘seen from afar’  and refers to the robust, brightly coloured head of the red Waratah which can be spotted at a great distance.

Craig also shared a glimpse into the glorious colour range that they grow on the farm of kangaroo paw. Paw grows for approximately 8 months of the year, making it incredibly important for their business.

Flannel Flowers (Actinotus helianthi)
Flannel Flowers (Actinotus helianthi) Source: National Parks

Flannel flower, which is incredibly popular for wedding bouquets with a more rustic feel, gets its name come the texture of the blooms. The elegant flowers are soft and furry, with delicate petals. According to Scott they have a reputation for being quite difficult to grow commercially,  but he has found that growing the plants in pots has been very successful.

What I enjoyed most was hearing and feeling his energy when he spoke about working with flowers and being out in nature. It is obvious that Craig has achieved what most of us only hope for, to turn a passion and a hunger for spreading that inspiration, into a thriving business. His gentle demeanour and overall feeling of calm beautifully illustrated the effects of working with nature and in nature.

Fwf x

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Farmers Best, But for Less.

These days when you go to the supermarket, or green grocer, you are presented with multiple options. The Western world is reknowned for only wanting the best of everything but refreshingly, I believe we are in the midst of change where many people are trying to make more mindful purchases. We are learning that something looking ‘perfect’ does not necessarily equal perfection. And we are also beginning to learn or appreciate that buying seasonal produce means that fresh products can be enjoyed at their best.

We are now given the option of buying what can only be described as ‘seconds’. And whilst their appearance may not be perfect, often the produce tastes the same (if not better) than their pretty peers.

Jamie Oliver has been pretty instrumental in Woolworths’ campaign dubbed ‘The Odd Bunch’, which provides seasonal produce that looks a bit ‘ugly’ but is marketed at a more attractive price. The farmers have set aside land, watered, fertilised and cared for this produce, and it would be so incredibly wasteful to simply cast them aside.

Buy seconds to reduce waste
Source: The Sun.

It was quite the breath of fresh air when I read in UK newspaper, The Sun, that one big retailer is trying the same concept with flowers. Flowers with smaller blooms, shorter stems or other ‘defects’.

The reality of flower production is pretty harsh. For stock grown outside, it is at the mercy of nature. Heavy rain can cause mildew or fungal problems. Harsh, dry temperature can result in smaller blooms, shorter stems, and sometimes a glut of produce all available at one time. Wind damage results in fewer blooms as well as damage to leaves and petals. Hail can have devastating effects on produce, wiping out whole crops, or causing horrendous damage that makes sale impossible.

The farmers are already up against so much, so this would be a wonderful scheme to implement and keep farmers on their properties, and able to make a living.

Drew Kirk, from Morrisons in the UK said: “It would be a shame to see these beautiful stems go to waste just because they’re a few centimetres too short.

“Our wonky range helps growers and farmers reduce waste and at the same time helps customers to afford to buy flowers more often.”

Truck full of fresh flowers
Source: At First Bite

And this is something that we could certainly apply here also. Flowers are often viewed as a luxury item, so of course, they will be the first item scratched from the list when the budget doesn’t allow it. People LOVE having fresh flowers in their home, and with this scheme, more people could afford to have them at home more often, whilst reducing the waste and loss for our local flower farmers. Sounds like a win, win to me

Fwf x

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Gorgeous native bouquet by florist flower

People Going WILD For Wildflowers

Trends come and go, and what is deemed ‘current’ will invariably influence the way people create the aesthetic for their wedding day. According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, native flower growers are currently struggling to keep up with demand, as the population favours wildflowers for both wedding flowers and for their homes.

It is a far cry from five years ago, when many of these growers were struggling to just keep afloat. Many native flower businesses relied heavily on the sale of dried native bunches, but as China began to produce artificial flowers (a.k.a silk flowers) the interest in dried flowers, well, basically dried up.

Australian natives were given centre stage at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, with all bouquets designed to have a strong Australiana feel, featuring some of our beautiful flora. At that time, Australian native production was at its peak. Then, after a tough drought, and a period where the Australian dollar was weak and unstable, production fell dramatically and never quite recovered. The few growers who were left were expected to pick up the slack, which was near impossible.

The current trends for fresh flowers includes a clear market for Australian native flowers, and so called ‘wildflowers’. They provide an interesting variety of textures and colours to work with, and a mixture of often long lasting, large focal blooms and small filler flowers. Florist with Flowers offers a variety of fresh flower arrangements available for Sydney delivery such as our native box arrangement and native bouquet, or alternatively you can speak to one of our wonderfully creative staff about what you can put together yourself.

Australian’s have become accustomed to a huge influx of imported fresh flower products, altered and dyed to be any and every colour in the rainbow….or the entire rainbow in some cases! In their pursuit to create something unique, the result has actually become somewhat predictable. Fresh native flower growers have focussed their energies on growing varieties of flowers that no-one else grows, creating their own niche markets. They have reinvented themselves into boutique businesses with products of real value and quality.

Brides come into floral meetings using descriptive words such as; natural, rustic, raw, quaint, earthy, organic, relaxed, textured…. and native blooms can fulfil their design brief with ease. With the increase in interest in native flora, there is consequently an increase in pressure to produce, and the ABC reports that our suppliers are not keeping up.

Craig Scott, from East Coast Wildflowers, is one such grower. He says that many of the industry head straight to his stall at The Sydney Flower Markets at opening time to see what fresh, new and interesting material he has on offer. He has increased production over the years and has a wide variety of stock on offer at any one time. As florists it is incredibly important to stay inspired and interested. Whether the piece has an unusual texture, or spectacular colour, or has an awesome line; these small differences in material can be the difference between creating something average or awesome.

Craig Scott has also run workshops interstate, and found there is a demand for his product there too. Unfortunately he is unable to get it there, but perhaps this just shows there is a gap in the market, and therefore an opportunity for someone else.

I have always been a fan of various Natives….how about you?

Fwf x

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Inspired by Nature

Many of you are probably familiar with Cicely Mary Barker’s 1920’s collection of books; a unique series that combined the illustration of delicate creatures, holding flowers available throughout the different seasons of the year. Her ‘Flower Fairy’ books have since been republished many times, using modern techniques to lovingly reproduce Barker’s original artworks.

Barker lacked formal artistic training, however she was happiest with a sketch pad in her hand. Her passionate dedication led to her first publication at the tender age of 15, with a series of postcards. Cicely Mary Barker was largely educated at home due to ill health, and was a self taught artist with obvious natural ability. The Flower Fairies, first published in 1923, brought her international acclaim as an artist.

Each fairy was designed holding a bloom, illustrated with meticulous botanical accuracy, and dressed in a costume that quite often looked like the flower had been carefully dissected and placed, petal by petal in place of clothes. The series has continued to capture both children and adults alike, and has certainly earned its place amongst classic literature.

Her summer edition includes many of this season’s treats, such as the glorious summer garden rose, scabiosa, forget-me-nots and more. I love her winged creatures, with their dainty features, the delicate belled sleeves, and full, blossomed skirts.

While it is not quite the same, many designers recently have used flower petals to create fashion pieces, and I can’t help but wonder if Barker may have provided some inspiration. Grace Ciao, a Singaporean artist, along with Lim Zhi Wei have deconstructed flowers and placed the petals back piece by piece to create frilly skirts and full, flouncy dresses. We’ve included a selection of examples by each, and will let you make up your own mind. What is evident however is that nature provides us with boundless inspiration, if only we take the time to see it.

Fwf x

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* THE SONG OF *

THE FORGET-ME-NOT FAIRY

So small, so blue, in grassy places

My flowers raise

Their tiny faces.

By streams my bigger sisters grow,

And smile in gardens,

In a row.

I’ve never seen a garden plot;

But though I’m small,

Forget me not!

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* THE SONG OF *

THE SCABIOUS FAIRY

Like frilly cushions full of pins

for tiny dames and fairykins;

Or else like dancers decked with gems,

My flowers sway on slender stems.

They curtesy in the meadow grass,

And nod to butterflies who pass.

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* THE SONG OF *

THE ROSE FAIRY

Best and dearest flower that grows,

Perfect both to see and smell;

Words can never, never tell

Half the beauty of a Rose –

Buds that open to disclose

Fold on fold of purest white,

Lovely pink, or red that glows

Deep, sweet-scented. What delight

To be Fairy of the Rose!

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* THE SONG OF *

THE FUCHSIA FAIRY

Fuchsia is a dancer

Dancing on her toes,

Clad in red and purple,

By a cottage wall;

Sometimes in a greenhouse,

In a frilly white and rose,

Drssed in her best for the fairies’ evening ball!

Grace Ciao design
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Grace Ciao design
Arum lilies used to create elegant skirts
Lim Zhi Wei design
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Lim Zhi Wei design
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Lim Zhi Wei design

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Geoffrey Mottart – Inspiring Outdoor Installations

Many florists choose the industry as they have a natural creative ability and long to share that with the world. A lot of the time though like in any creative industry I suppose, working in commercial floristry can remove all sense of artistry and creativity in a bid to be profitable, efficient and also meet expectations. Think about it….when you see a picture of a fresh flower arrangement online and decide to order it….you expect it will look exactly the same. In a world of instant gratification, we have come to rely on seeing what we purchase immediately. Same Day flower delivery is incredibly convenient but will mean that on occasion, the flowers that are pictured will not be available. Trained floral designers are equipped to make suitable substitutions in order to fulfil your order requirements. This may mean changing the flowers yet keeping the same colour scheme, or this may mean the correct flowers can be used, but in different colour tones.

We often discuss the fact that florists work in a weather dependant industry, at the mercy of Mother Nature, and for the most part people do understand that sometimes things are beyond our control…..that is until it is their major event or wedding day…..then, well then, they can be a little less understanding.

So as an artist, what can you do when you want to get back to your creative roots and simply be inspired? Well, you could take a page out of Geoffroy Mottart’s book, and beautify your city.

No design brief, no budget, no particular date….basically just show up and create whatever you want, when you want. Be inspired.

He is not the first artist to bring his projects into the public domain, but I think you will agree, that his designs are both beautiful and eye catching.

Léopold II decorated with a beautiful floral beard, moustache and head piece
Léopold II decorated with a beautiful floral beard, moustache and head piece
A stunning statue of the female l form complete with headpiece and accessories by Geoffroy Mottart
A stunning statue of the female form complete with headpiece and accessories by Geoffroy Mottart
Florist with Flowers can create stunning floral headpieces for any occasion
The back view of the same statue
Brightly colour floral head pieces are available to order
I love Mottart’s use of bright warm colour tones to reinvigorate this drab figure with his matching headpiece and ‘tache.

Geoffroy adorns famous statues and monuments with floral arrangements which transform them from drab to fab. The infusion of colour immediately draws your eye to these monuments which unlikely garner the same level of attention and admiration ordinarily, despite their historical significance.

I love the avante garde floral beards and flower crowns that Mottart often uses to decorate the statues. He uses a variety of materials, both fresh and dried to create the installations.

natural branch arrangements
Mottart decorates spaces as well as faces like this example, using branches that weave in and around the space and encourage curiosity and investigation.
Stunning cap created from fresh flowers
Another beautiful headpiece by Geoffroy Mottart
Fresh floral headpieces available for order
The gorgeous childlike figure is decorated with a floral wig by Mottart

For creative spirits, being inspired is essential to feeling fulfilled. Inspiration can, and does come in many forms….trick is to live in the moment and truly see what is going on around you.

Fwf x

 

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Gorgeous Summer Flowers – Add Pineapple Lilies to Your Floral Arrangements NOW!

If you want to create an instantly eye catching, dramatic and long lasting arrangement throughout summer, here’s a hot tip…

Pineapple Lilies.

Never heard of them? You are probably not alone…these striking bulb plants have not always been a popular cut flower, although I do not know why. Aside from being aesthetically beautiful, they prove to be amazing value as they are reasonably priced AND long lasting. Pineapple lilies can give you WEEKS of viewing pleasure!

Pineapple Lilies (which are not at all related to Pineapple fruit plants) are a seriously interesting addition to your flower arrangements. Pineapple Lilies (Eucomis) are like a floral representation of the tropical fruit, a long central stem with miniature flowers closely clustered together beneath a leafy top. They are a bulb plant, native to South Africa, and as they are endemic to a similar climate to Australia’s growing conditions, they grow well here and make a fantastic cut flower.

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Image; Gorgeous close up picture of the Pineapple lilies flowers via Top Tropicals
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Image; Pineapple lilies are available in a variety of colour tones like this gorgeous specimen via Easy to Grow Bulbs

Pineapple lilies come in a variety of colours including a white and green variety that works well within neutral colour schemes as well as bright colour schemes. They also come in a gorgeous burgundy variety which looks absolutely divine with rich and romantic colour tones (think pinks, reds, chocolate, plums, purples etc…) While some varieties are harder to come by commercially as a cut flower, the varieties that are available are very versatile.

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Image; Pineapple lilies come in stunning rich tones too, like this plum bloom via Longfield Gardens
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Image; Pineapple lilies make fantastic pot plant too like this example via  Longfield Gardens

These flowers can also be allowed to ‘go to seed’ before being cut which means that the centre of the bloom is allowed to become enlarged and firm. It gives the bloom a unique look, and the cut flower still last extremely well. This is one way that growers get creative, essentially creating a new line that may allow them to build on their business by extending the plant season (cutting the crop later than usual) or attracting new customers (by offering something totally unique). It also gives florists different textures to work with, allowing us to be more inspired when we create floral arrangements.

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Image; This pineapple lily has gone to seed, resulting in a plump berry like centre to each bloom via Top Tropicals

Pineapple lilies are grown locally which is beneficial because the cut flowers have not spent extended periods of time out of water or in unfavorable transit conditions. Buying local ensures you know the age of the produce, the conditions that they have been grown in and also provides jobs in the community.

Our staff are very knowledgeable, so ask us what flowers are grown locally if you want to continue supporting small business. By choosing this Carlingford Florist for flowers for home or deliveries throughout Sydney you are supporting a family business that actually care about it’s customers, and cares about it’s community.

Fwf x

 

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Taste of Summer – Pineapples

In winter, I like things cosy; warm lighting, textured fabrics, and throws, rich colour tones. Autumn calls for warm, rustic tones and layering, and Spring with it’s new growth sprouting, beckons for fresh, light colour tones, light layers and bright open spaces.

For me, Summer has a different feeling….or flavour if you like. Australian summers can be anything from hot and dry, to wet and sticky….but regardless, the longer days call us outside and give us a special kind of motivation.

Summer fruit bowls are full of colour and offer so much vareiety; lychees, melons, grapes, mangoes and pineapples….just to name a few.

Did you know that the pineapple is part of the bromeliaceae family? In fact, the pineapple is the only bromeliad that is a commercially important food. Most other bromeliads are popular as ornamental plants, whether grown in a garden or kept as a indoor house plant. The popular tropical fruit is the single most economically significant bromeliad. Pineapples can be enjoyed raw, cooked or juiced, and ornamental pineapples are just as versatile.

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Image; Bakker

If the latest news is anything to go by, this year has been a bumper year for pineapple production, so much so, that hundreds of tonnes of the fruit were left to rot in North Queensland. Like all fresh grown produce, timing your crop is especially important. This year however, due to higher temperatures and early rain, the glut in supply coincided with the Golden Circle cannery’s annual holiday closure period. Ouch…They warn that this will affect the availability of Australian canned pineapple in the months to come.

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Image: Bakker

For florists, Pineapples provide an interesting textured focal. Ornamental pineapples can create an exotic, and glamorous display paired with other tropical blooms or simple foliage. They can be the traditional green and gold varieties, and also come with a beautiful pink blush to them with rich burgundy foliage. This makes the creative possibilities almost endless!!! Fruit has been used within flower arrangements for an eternity, that is nothing new, but the way we use materials these days differs. If you are aiming to create tropical themed nuptials, the humble pineapple could certainly provide a dramatic answer, check out some of the inspiration below!

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Via Pinterest

I love the way the pineapples have been used in the tablescape above.  It is the kind of idea that can be easily adapted for use at home or parties, and the best thing about it is it can be enjoyed later too!

But, if fruit in your flower arrangements really isn’t your thing, you can always combine your pineapple with a touch of white rum, coconut milk, ice and a fancy paper umbrella for the true taste of summer! 🍹 🍍 🌴  It’d be a shame for any more of these glorious specimans to go to waste… 😂

Fwf x

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Bandit By Name, Brilliant By Nature

With the new year fast approaching, many are probably putting pen to paper jotting down the aspirations they have for the year ahead. I must admit I stopped writing New Year’s Resolutions a long time ago…

I believe in living life the way that you want to live it every day, and if you do that, you don’t really need to have New Year’s Resolutions”

– Tom Ford

I stumbled across a story of a guerilla floral designer in New York attempting to do just that; living and creating the life he wants each and every day….and spreading his joy in the process. Like many of us in the wedding and event industries- we spend countless hours bringing a vision to life, to create what appears to be the perfect day. Most of the time, sadly, many of the flowers are left or discarded. In some ways I guess they have already served their purpose, but this floral designer decided he could spread the joy much, much further.

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Image; Lewis Miller Design

Lewis Miller and his team, now takes armfuls of fresh cut flowers that are largely left over from events to decorate garbage cans around the city of New York. Yep, you read that right….garbage bins. Why? Miller, despite having a successful, thriving business, was feeling unfulfilled. The idea behind these street art installations was that Miller and his team could create something more authentic and organic in nature, to spread the feeling of joy, and make everlasting memories for everyday city dwellers.

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Image; Lewis Miller Designs

Lewis Miller, owner of Lewis Miller Designs says “Gifting flowers to New Yorkers is a simple idea that I have been thinking about for years.”

Miller, dubbed the ‘Flower Bandit’ by Vogue, began his “Flower Flashes” in October 2016, and initially intended it to be just a one off event to reinvigorate himself artistically and reconnect with his craft. It evolved into a beautiful shared experience for countless New Yorkers, creating a positive emotional response from the floral installations.

“Who doesn’t love to get flowers? They are such a luxury, and New York City is a very gritty, fast-paced town. If we can bring nature—something wild and sumptuous—to New Yorkers and make them smile, the way people smile when they witness a random act of kindness, then that is a great thing. That is my goal. It’s a really simple vision but powerful, I think, to try to create an emotional response through flowers.”

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Image; Lewis Miller Designs

In addition to the beautiful blooming bins filled with spectacular bouquets of flowers, Miller and his team have also  decorated statues, sculptures and other public works of art. By adding fresh flowers, these landmarks have been transformed into colourful and eye catching displays.

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Image; Lewis Miller Design

 

“My team and I work really fast and very early in the a.m. Our call time for these flashes is 5:45 a.m., and we try to finish them before sunrise. We always recycle flowers from events when possible.”

“I don’t see us stopping anytime soon. These flashes are so gratifying and rewarding on many levels.”

Florist with Flowers would like to wish you all a very happy New Year, go forth into 2018 with the courage and conviction to be the change in the world that you wish to see.

Fwf x

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